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Foundations of Drawing
Illustration by John Hersey

Creating the final project


Foundations of Drawing

with Will Kemp

Video: Creating the final project

So now you've got to the final stages of the course, we've covered We now going to use this still life setup we arranged earlier.

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Foundations of Drawing
2h 24m Beginner Apr 28, 2014

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Anyone can learn how to draw. Success comes down to three things:

Shape: By focusing on the shapes of the objects (and more importantly the shapes between the objects) you can view subjects with a whole new outlook and focus.

Simplicity: You'll get better results by concentrating on simple subjects and drawing techniques that will still prove powerful when used together.

Structure: A structured approach makes drawing easier to master.

Each chapter in this course is built on these three principles, combining drawing theory and practical examples with worksheets and drawing assignments. Will Kemp brings his passion for teaching and infectious love of drawing together in these lessons. You'll learn about line, value, tone, negative space, and perspective, and come away with the confidence to start making drawing a daily practice.

This course was created and produced by Will Kemp. We're honored to host this training in our library.

Topics include:
  • Materials you need to draw
  • Drawing theory
  • Framing your composition
  • Using the picture plane
  • Creating contrast
  • Using negative space to create more powerful compositions
  • Creating form from shadows and light
Design Drawing Design Skills
Will Kemp

Creating the final project

So now you've got to the final stages of the course, we've covered so many things, and now we're going to start to put them all together. So we've looked at line and how important that can be just to get those shapes right. We've looked at a tone ground, so you can really look at a tonal range in your drawings. We've then looked at negative spaces to really help us to arrange our objects in the theme. And how light logic can be so important to create that realism and three dimension nature in your drawings.

So let's get on to our final project. We now going to use this still life setup we arranged earlier. So the first thing that I do is to draw up the line of the composition on to the pitch plane. If you really want to challenge yourself, you can draw the image straight onto tonal ground without the help of having the picture plane. Eventually, when you become more confident in your drawing, your aim is to draw from observing the images from life without using the picture plane, and have that idea of the picture plane within your mind eye rather than having it sit propped in front of you.

So this is my line drawing, and notice how some of the lines are really wobbly especially this top one at the top. So it doesn't matter if it's a bit wobbly because it can be quite hard to hold the picture plane completely steady when you're holding it up. But it's just a guide just so you can start to see how everything relates to each other within the composition. So all of these spaces here, the negative spaces, this is what I was after. And these gaps in between and around the rose, and through the handle. I've also drawn in where the cast shadow is because it's again creates these negative spaces between the objects.

So now what I'm going to do is just transfer this line drawing onto a tone ground. So once I've got this drawn out, I can just sit back infront of the scene and draw it all from life. You can have your picture plane by you just as a reference if you ever need it, just to check a couple of lines, but try to draw the rest just by observing what's in front of you. So the first thing I am doing is building up those darker tones I can see in this scene. I'm just keeping the pencil I am using, a 7B pencil here. I am keeping it quite soft and just working over those same areas, looking at the actual darker shape that's there.

I'm trying to keep the tone quite even. And I'm looking to see where the shadow lines are. Where are the cast shadows within the scene? And this can be really helpful to ground the actual objects that we're looking at. So I'm just looking at the dark accents at the bottom here of the votive on the left. And this again, putting down that really, really even tone onto it, just so that I get that idea and that sense of where the light is coming from within the drawing. I can now take the plastic eraser and start to bring back some of the lights in the scene.

Just freaking my eye to the image and the around the actual whole of the drawing just to see what areas grab my eye, which areas got this lighter touches to it. You can use a very fine edge of the eraser. I've cut a very thin slice out, but you notice how I can get this nice fine line. If I just pull that around there, it's just, it just gives this, you're drawing with it. You're drawing with the actual eraser. And just taking off there, a couple of dings where the light's just hit the actual objects in the scene.

And then rubbing it back and just blending them with my finger just to get a smoother edge. So, here I am just looking at the where that edge hits the, it, it creates that shape, that negative shape just so it can help to see you the form of the object. There is a little highlight there underneath the rows and a few other highlights on that left here. Just again blend it around the edge. So I'm getting this now, this balance between toned, between those lighter areas and the negative shapes which then cause the positive forms to come out at us.

And now swap to a harder pencil and just work between getting a few little shapes in. So, again just using the eraser just to bring back those lights into the piece. So here's our flat tones we've got set up. We've got the darkest darks, the mid-tone of the tonal ground, and the lights we've put in with the eraser. So there are some very simple flat tones, and now we can start putting some more of the details into the drawing.

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